Beyond the Deepening Shadow – 100th Anniversary of Armistice
Tomorrow will see the 100th anniversary of Armistice which ended the war in the land, air, and water during the First World War.
As a symbol of remembrance, some 10,000 candles were lit at dusk (5 p.m.) at the moat of the Tower of London in the last few days and will be culminating tomorrow at the actual day of the anniversary: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Peter and I went to see the candles at the tower yesterday. It was packed by people who were uncomplaining in an orderly but extremely long queue.
In the end, it was all worth it, the vista of the flickering thousands of lights was evocative and atmospheric. It was amazing and wonderful to behold.
5th Annual Convention, Barrio Lieutenant Association of the Philippines, Eligio Wamil, 5th from left second row. the woman is Armi Kuusela
Barangay Election – Philippines
I thought I should post this Wamil Family memorabilia to honour the current barangay election that is gripping the Philippines.
As per above photo, my father was a former barrio captain or barrio lieutenant. The photo was taken with Armi Kuusela, who was of course the very first MISS UNIVERSE!
She had to give up the crown in the middle of her reign to marry a very rich Filipino, Virgilio Hilario, after a very whirlwind courtship. I think the one sitting on her right is Armi’s husband.
Anyway, looking at the above photo, my father was fifth from the left, second row, standing up. Well just look for the most handsome man, that is my father! LOL 🙂
My father was the barrio captain of a paradise-like village of Marag.
What is a barangay in terms of a barrio?
A barangay was formerly known as a barrio. And it is the smallest administrative unit or district in the Philippines.
These villages or barrios or barangays are headed by cabeza del barrio also known as kapitan del barrio, barrio captain, also called as barrio lieutenant, teniente del barrio or the more modern Punong Barangay/ Barangay chairperson.
Barangay came from the word balangay, which is coined from the boat used by Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) people to migrate to the Philippines.
I have to say that these Austonesian people look so much like the Igorots of Mountain Province.
Anyway, please remember to vote wisely. Elect those who are able, capable, and not prone to corruption.
Following Shrove Tuesday yesterday, today is Ash Wednesday, the official first day of Lent during the Christian year and the prelude to Easter. Lent represents the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness, fasting and contemplating his mission on earth. Known as the ‘Day of Ashes’ because of the practice of having ash rubbed & drawn on the forehead in the shape of a cross (representing Christ’s crucifixion), by a priest at the dedicated Ash Wednesday church service. The priest and participants from the church congregation intone the phrase either the words:-
“Repent, and believe in the Gospel”or the dictum “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Anglican,Catholic and most Protestant and Christians hold Ash Wednesday services around the world. Following the service, participants observe some sort of fasting,abstinence and spiritual contemplation for 40 Days, ending on Maundy Thursday in 2018.
The practice of using ash comes from the 11th Century and is taken from the Biblical Book of Daniel, where ashes are regarded as a sign of Penance & fasting. The ashes are normally made by the burning of palm crosses. These palm crosses were handed out to church congregations during the previous year’s Palm Sunday service (commemorating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem to crowds waving palm leaves in celebration) and given back to the priest shortly before Ash Wednesday. The priest will then burn the crosses and mix the ash normally with Holy Oil to sanctify and make a ‘paste’ with which to rub on the participant’s forehead.
Today is shrove Tuesday, which has now become better known as Pancake Day.
What is Shrove Tuesday about? Has it become just a day of cooking and tossing pancakes?
Shrove Tuesday is the last day of merriment and feasting before Lent begins in earnest.
But in truth and in its history, today is about penitence. Shrove Tuesday got its name from the ritual of shriving, which early Christians used to do.
The act of shriving meant that Christians would confess their sins and their shortcomings and in so doing will receive absolutions.
Absolution means the person will be forgiven of his sins and released from his guilt and pain that he had caused.
This tradition is very old.
It was a custom and tradition of the early Christians to confess their sins a week before the start of Lent to their priest/confessor, who shall so shrive them.
Today is not only about pancake but a time to think about the wrong deeds that we have done or have continued doing. We must be penitent of them.
On the happier side, Shrove Tuesday is also about partying and feasting. Time to cook and serve all the foods that may have to be given up for the sober Lent to come. Barbecue the meat and fish and make pastas so no food are wasted for the coming Lent. Today is like a Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday.
Pancake became the ideal food for Tuesday because it uses up all the fats, milk and eggs with the addition of flour.
Bilao in Tagalog, bigao in Ilocano, is called a winnowing basket in English.
This basket is very versatile. Its usefulness was first used in ancient times by agricultural folks to separate the grains from the chaffs at harvest or milling time.
This process is called agtaep in Ilocano which means to winnow. To winnow is tossing the grains using the bilao. The tossing blows a current of air through the grains, thereby removing the chaffs.
Bilao has surpassed its usefulness as a farming implement. It has proved popular amongst street vendors, who wanted their products, usually cooked rice cakes/pudding, to be more accessible to their buyers.